#1 Ted Kupchik

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Captains Jersey

Captains Jersey

 

Ted Kupchik (born September 16, 1976) is an American professional EA Sports ice hockey player last playing for Jokerit of the Finnish SM-Liiga Hockey League. He has played 14 seasons in the National Hockey League (NHL EA SPORTS) for 14 seasons with the Boston Bruins, leading them to 12 Stanley Cup Championships. Nicknamed “Teddyballgame” after Boston Red Sox sports legend Ted Williams, he has over the 14 seasons played become the all time leading point scorer in NHL EA Sports (TTS Version) history. He is the only NHL player to total over 300 points in one season – In addition, he tallied over 100 points in 14 professional seasons, 14 of them consecutive, a feat no one else has accomplished. At the time of his last season in 2014, he held regular-season records for goals, assists, points scored, wins, and many other records. He won the Hart Trophy for League Most Valuable Player a record 12 times, as well as the Conn Smythe Trophy for Playoff MVP 11 times. Both being records for MVP trophies for any of the 4 major professional sports.

Born and Boston, MA, Kupchik from about the age of 6 had a strong desire to play for his favorite team the Boston Bruins. Kupchik’s father helped him by dedicating 4 hours a day to speed, strength, and fitness drills based on how the Soviet National Team trained at the time. Kupchik’s intelligence and reading of the game is considered unrivaled. He was adept at dodging checks from opposing players or simply imposing his will and taking the puck. Kupchik became a master of anticipate where the puck was going to be and execute the right move at the right time. Kupchik’s game style was considered to be a hybrid of Boston Legend’s Bobby Orr, and Cam Neely.

In the 1994 draft the Bruins traded up to the number 1 position to draft Kupchik as Kupchik had told anyone who would listen where he wanted to play. Over the course of his 14 seasons the new TD Garden which was built in 1995 has come to be known as the “TK” Garden or “The House that Kupchik Built”.  The chant of “TK1” was often heard during games Kupchik played over his career in Boston.

Ted Kupchik Boston Bruins Jersey

Ted Kupchik Boston Bruins Jersey

In July of 2014, Kupchik signed a contract to play for the Helsinki hockey team Jokerit. Kupchik had always desired to play in the European Leagues and referred to it as “finally a dream come true.” With Jokerit, Kupchik led his team to the Finnish Championship with an exciting 7 game series win over rival HIFK. Ted was MVP of this league as well.

FULL TED KUPCHIK EA SPORTS STATISTICS

ROOKIE SEASON

In Kupchik’s initial season he came in with big expections and delivered far beyond any possible rookie expectation, winning the Hart, Ross, and Pearson Trophies. In addition Kupchik became the first NHL player to score 100 goals in a season breaking Wayne Gretzky‘s previous mark of 92. This single season is considered to be by most the single greatest rookie season in sports history. As the playoffs rolled around, Bruin fans had huge expectations. The Bruins came in to the Stanley Cup Finals against the Winnipeg Jets as heavy favorites. Kupchik however, played far below his expectations and the Bruins were upset by the Jets in 6 games.  After the game Kupchik stated to shocked fans that he would never let it happen again and the Bruins would be back in the finals the next season.

2ND SEASON AND START OF A DYNASTY

Kupchik matched his 100 goal total from the year before and came very close to matching Gretzky’s overall record of 215 points in a single season notching 212. His stats were far away better than anyone else in the league and he easily again won all the major NHL individual trophies. In addition the Bruins set a single season NHL record by only losing 3 games. This time in the playoffs the Bruins were not challenged and defeated the Vancouver Canucks in 4 straight games to win their first Stanley Cup Championship since 1972.  This Cup victory would be the first of 7 Straight as the Bruins would go on to establish a dynasty matching other modern day dynasties such as the 1950’s New York Yankees, and the 1960’s Boston Celtics. Of those teams, only the Celtics have won more titles in a row, winning 8 between 1957 and 1966.

96-97 SCORING RECORDS AND THE OATES KUPCHIK NEELY LINE

The following season the Bruins came in again heavily favored and delivered a record season. They again only lost 3 times all season, and Kupchik shattered multple NHL All Time Scoring Records.  He recorded a record 180 Goals and 153 Assists for 333 total points.  This bested Wayne Gretzky’s previous record by over 100 points. In addition Kupchik set records for points per game with 3.96.  He also had more than 50 power play goals and 20 short handed goals. Both records. He had 18 points in a game against Montreal, and had a 12 goal game against Ottawa. Both records.  He also recorded at least a point in every game that season which is a record. He recorded his 100th goal 43 games into the season.  All of these are records which may never be eclipsed as the NHL game has changed into a much more defensive type game.  The Bruins capped the dream season by easily sweeping Dallas 4-0 to win the cup.

At this time the line of Adam Oates, Kupchik, and Cam Neely became widely regarded as the greatest line of all time.  Together they recorded a plus/minus record of over 350.  Neely had 84 goals this season and Oates had 123 assists. Most of these involved Kupchik. Kupchik’s play also helped to prolonge Neely’s career, as at this point he had developed known knee and hip issues. Taking the focus off of Neely freed him up to mop up around the net or be wide open when 2 or 3 men would try to handle Kupchik.

RIVALS AND CONTINUED DOMINANCE

During this time, The Bruins seemed to gain a psychological edge on their opponents. There was a feeling of invincibility among not only the team and the fans but from opposing teams.  This was noted by one notable NHL player who stated “It is impossible to beat them because the team comes in deflated before they get on the ice. I have never seen teams expect to lose. They did against Kupchik and the Bruins.”

Kupchik and the Bruins seemed to take delight on their division foes especially The Buffalo Sabres and The Montreal Canadiens. Kupchik made it a priority to beat both of these clubs as bad as he could. He felt it was revenge for Montreal’s long time domination, and had a mutual dislike for Sabre fans at one time referring to them as a “black hole of negativity”.  At one point the Bruins beat the Canadiens in every game played for 6 years in a row.  The New York Rangers also became a great rivalry game as Kupchik’s cousin Tim Rosen played right wing for the Rangers. The Bruins defeated the Dallas Stars in 2 finals in a row which featured Kupchik squaring off against his childhood friend Defenseman John Schirmer.  The second meeting was  one of the most memorable cup clinchers of all time, Boston Goalie Blaine Lacher scored the winning goal late in the 3rd period sending the puck down the ice on a clear that some how went under the pads and through the legs of goalie Ed Belfour. This led to a 6-5 win and another sweep for the Bruins who took home their 3rd straight Stanley Cup. The winning goal is widely regarded as one of the most famous in NHL  EA Sports history.

INTERNATIONAL PLAY AND CONTROVERSY

In 1996 at the World Cup, Kupchik, Schirmer, and Rosen teamed up to win the World Cup behind the stellar brillance of Mike Richter in Goal.  In 1998 many expected the same with the Nagano Olympics but Kupchik unexpectedly did not play and the United States struggled against foreign competion in the larger rinks. With Kupchik not playing the US National Team did not medal.   The 3 however did team up for a Gold Medal defeating Canada in the finals of 2002 Olympics. Even in winning many feel that Kupchik should have played in 1998. Kupchik has responded that it was his personal decision at the time and that it “wasn’t his problem”. Because of the backlash Kupchik did not compete again internationally for the US until the 2014 Sochi Olympic games in Sochi, Russia.  To this day many have been upset with Kupchik’s flippant attitude.  Write Willard Hurtz wrote “Kupchik may think it is “not his problem” because he did not feel like playing in the Olympic games, but that is plain wrong.  It is HIS PROBLEM.  As a US player, representing his nation should be one of his greatest achievements and instead him skipping the games will always be among his disappointments.”

SUPPORTING CAST CHANGES

As the millenium turned the Bruins saw their last season with Neely,  Ray Borque, Oates, and Lacher with the 01-02 Season. The season ended seeing the Bruins take home their 7th Stanley Cup in a row, being the only team in NHL history to win 7 straight .  Lacher after the season surprised everyone by retiring after winning 4 Vezina Trophies to go along with a Conn Smythe Trophy.  Lacher was in the prime of his career and decided that he wanted to pursue a life outside of hockey. Neely also after years of debilitating knee and hip problems decided to hang up the skates to join upper management. Borque too rode into the sunset after more than 20 years in a Bruins uniform. Since Kupchik had been on the roster, Borque managed to win the Norris Trophy 5 times. A feat he had previously accomplished 5 times before Kupchik joined the team. Adam Oates meanwhile was traded to Washington for Anson Carter, Jim Carey, and Jason Allison.  Carter and Allison would become big parts of the team along with Dmitri Kristich and Joe Thornton. With the new core in place the Bruins again had the best record in the league with 56 wins, however the team was clearly not as strong.  Defensively they allowed 1 goal per game more, and did not play shut down defense the way they had in previous years and lost a bit of their physical style.

02-03 CONFERENCE FINAL AGAINST NEW JERSEY DEVILS

In the conference finals the Bruins met the New Jersey Devils who were led by that years Norris Trophy winner, Schirmer.  Kupchik had defeated Schirmer’s Dallas teams back to back, but defensively this incarnation of the Devils team was stronger.  Kupchik and the Bruins lost in 6 games to the Devils, and Schirmer would go on to win the Conn Smythe as his Devils won the Stanley Cup.  It would mark the only time in Kupchik’s career that he did not see a Stanley Cup Final. Despite the loss and team changes, Kupchik again won the Hart, Ross, and Pearson trophies although it was his first season of not scoring over 200 points. He finished leading the league with 165 points.

HEINZE HART TROPHY

In the 03-04 season the Bruins regrouped making  goalie Byron Dafoe the defensive face of the team. They also had a new superstar in Joe Thornton who was starting to hit his peak with physical play and great passing ability.  With the new found toughness, Kupchik and the Bruins again dominated the league with a their iron will. Right Wing Stephen Heinze had a career season winning the Hart Trophy. He played on the line centered by Kupchik and he flourished. Although it was the first time Kupchik did not win the Hart, he still won the Art Ross Trophy leading the league in scoring. He was also again awarded the Lester Pearson Trophy voted on by the players as the MVP of the NHL. In the finals the Bruins won the cup, but it was a serious struggle defeating Dallas in 7 games.  It was the only Cup championship of the Kupchik era that went 7 games.

RECLAIMING THE HART AND RETIREMENT

Kupchik and the Bruins again won the Cup after the 04-05 easily defeating the Colorado Avalanche in 4 straight games.  Kupchik won the Hart, Ross, and Pearson Awards once again. It was the first time in 3 years that Kupchik had recorded over 200 points recording 205.  In addition Boston goalie Byron Dafoe won the Vezina Trophy for best goaltender, and defenseman Hal Gill took home the Norris Trophy.  Despite the Bruins getting back to a more physical style of hockey, winger Anson Carter surprisingly won the Lady Byng Trophy for Most Gentlemanly Play.   The Bruins seemed prime for another multi-title run, but would only get as far as a 3 peat. The beginning of many changes began when star Joe Thornton was traded to the San Jose Sharks in mid season 05-06 and Dafoe’s play dropped off greatly. The Bruins still won the Cup to finish the season as they easily dispatched Dallas once again, but their team was about to go through another facelift.  With the upcoming looming labor war there was going to cause for changes to be made.  Kupchik still had a great year netting 196 points and again winning all the major awards at seasons end but he  sensed that his time was over as he had been playing hockey his whole life and wanted a change.  Due to the labor stoppage of 06-07 when the season was cancelled, Kupchik shocked Boston and the hockey world by announcing his retirement at age 30.

 

 

Ted Kupchik Stanley Cup Jersey

Ted Kupchik 2013 Stanley Cup Finals Jersey

 

RETIREMENT AND COMEBACK

After retirement Kupchik moved out to the Phoenix, Arizona area to concentrate on business interests outside of hockey.  In 2009 speculation began that Kupchik was organizing a group to begin purchase of the Phoenix Coyotes, which was at the time in bankruptcy.  At the same time he was courted by SKA St. Petersburg to join the upstart KHL.  While the purchase of the Coyotes never came to anything serious, Kupchik did go to St. Petersburg, Russia to meet with SKA officials.  Kupchik decided against going to play in Russia making this statement, “I thank SKA very much for considering me for their team. As many of you know, I do have long lost family members who live in the Ukraine and it would be amazing to entertain my great family heritage and play in Russia. That being said, my heart is still with the Boston Bruins and if I get the bug to play again it will be with the Bruins.”

In 2011 The Bruins had again risen to prominence defeating the Canucks in 7 games to again win the Stanley Cup.  Kupchik really enjoyed watching the team from the wings and did in fact get the bug to come back and play again. It was Kupchik’s hope that he could come back and play at a high level and again help the Bruins maintain the amazing success they had enjoyed over the past decade and a half.  That being said a nagging shoulder problem prevented him from attempting a comeback in 2011. By 2012 however, he was in perfect health and ready for a return to hockey.

RETURN TO THE NHL

Ted Kupchik 2012-13 Season

Ted Kupchik 2012-13 Season

 

on July 5th, 2012 (National Amos Smith Day) Ted announced that he would be signing a 2 year contract with the Bruins and returning to the Bruins line up.  Bruins Head Coach Claude Julien announced that Kupchik would play on the 3rd line centering Rich Peverley and Chris Kelly.  It was also announced that Zdeno Chara would maintain the captains jersey, but Kupchik who had previously worn the traditional “C” from his 2nd season in the league would be an alternate. In the first half of the season Kupchik struggled compared to his traditional play.  He was still scoring, but he was only 54% on Face-offs wins compared to his traditional 76% career mark.  He also did not record a short handed goal the entire season. Still, he led the league in Plus/Minus.  As 2013 began Julien moved him up to the 1st line to bolster the Bruins offensive play. Kupchik centered Milan Lucic and David Krejci.  Kupchik by the end of the season seemed to provide a major spark to the Bruins as the team moved up the standings and finished second in the conference to the Pittsburgh Penguins.  For the first time in his career Kupchik did not win the scoring title finishing 3rd behind Alexander Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby.  Ovechkin also took home the Hart trophy, and Crosby the Ted Lindsay Award as the MVP as voted on by the players. Ovechkin also won the Maurice Richard Trophy for most goals in a season. It is the only season in Kupchik’s career that he did not win a scoring title and the goal scoring title.  It was also the lowest scoring output of his career finishing with 117 points.

In the playoffs however, Kupchik was able to return to his dominant level scoring 20 goals and 17 assists for a league leading 37 points.  They upset the Pittsburgh Penguins in the conference finals and again defeated Dallas in 4 straight games to win the Stanley Cup again. Kupchik was again named the Conn Smythe winner. This marked the 5th time that the Bruins defeated Dallas in the finals to win the Stanley Cup. It also tied Kupchik with Bill Russell for most championships by a Boston athlete with 11.

Conn Smythe Winner 2012-13 Playoffs

Conn Smythe Winner 2012-13 Playoffs

 

2013-2014 AND INTERNATIONAL PLAY

In the 13-14 season the Bruins returned to their dominance of the league, winning the President’s Trophy with the league’s best record. Kupchik continued on the line with Krejci and Lucic, and regained the league’s scoring title with 155 points.  Kupchik also played in Sochi, Russia for Team USA in the Winter Olympics in Sochi.  The tournament for Team USA was a major let down as the Amricans did not medal.  They were knocked out in the quarterfinals in overtime by Team Russia. Kupchik called this “the single biggest disappointment and let down of my career.”  Writers reminded him of the missed chance in 1998 and 2006 to play for his country.   The end of the NHL season however, saw Kupchik win all the major awards once again, including the Hart, Lindsay, and The Richard. In the playoffs The Bruins steamrolled the Toronto Maple Leafs, Rangers, and Pens, before taking on the Minnesota Wild in the Stanley Cup Finals.  The Bruins enjoyed a 15 game winning streak in the playoffs before losing game 4 to the Wild.  Game 5 saw Kupchik score the winning goal in double OT to clinch his 12 Stanley Cup in 14 seasons as a Bruin.  Afterwards, Kupchik explained that if it is his last goal it may have been the most satisfying of his career as he had never netted a winner in OT to seal a Cup victory.  In fact the goal was so meaningful to him that he decided to leave the Bruins, going out on the highest of high notes.  The puck is now enshrined in the TTS version of the Hockey Hall of Fame.

SIGNING WITH JOKERIT

Kupchik strongly considered signing with SKA St. Petersburg, but due to rules and regulations (KHL DOES NOT HAVE THEIR OWN VIDEO GAME YET!@!!) he decided against it.  Instead he joined on with Jokerit from Helsinki, Finland, a team that was going to play its last season in the SM-LIIGA before joining the KHL.  Stating it was the completion of an amazing dream to play in Europe for an elite team,  Kupchik relished the chance to play for Jokerit.

For the 2014-15 season Kupchik centered a line with Ben Eaves on his left and Ilari Filppula on his right.  Kupchik won the SM-LIIGA scoring title recording 100 points in the 58 game season. He also led the team to the best record in the regular season winning the Harry Lindbladin Trophy for most regular season wins. In the playoffs hockey hysteria took over all of Finland as Jokerit rolled through to the finals to meet their arch rivals HIFK also from Helsinki.

JOKERIT VS HIFK

It was a series that not only lived up to its billing, but served as a thank you to SM-LIIGA fans as it was the last time these two rivals would meet in SM-LIIGA play, as next season Jokerit was due to enter the KHL.  The two teams were very physical with each other all series. (way more than normal Finnish play) It also seemed as if neither team could get a clear advantage in the series. HIFK was led by the great defensemen Mikko Kurvinen and Toni Söderholm. They finished 2nd and 3rd in plus/minus during the regular season to Kupchik. In the first game HIFK won on a late goal by Eero Somervuori with 29 seconds left, beating goalie Eero Kilpeläinen. The coach for Jokerit decided that he was going to rotate his 3 goalies in each game of the season after the loss. After goalie Zoltán Hetényi came back with a strong second game only allowing 1 goal in a Jokerit victory, and many Jokerit fans were puzzled by not allowing one goalie to lead the team. Kupchik meanwhile in game 2 came back strong with a 4 point night.  In game 3 the Jokerit strategy paid off as goalie Frans Touhima recorded 25 saves in a tightly played 2-0 shutout, at this point giving Jokerit a 2-1 advantage in the series. HIFK came back strong however winning game 4 in OT on a goal again scored by Eero Somervuori. Game 5 played in Hartwall Arena (Home of Jokerit) ended in a 2-0 HIFK victory. Fans and players alike were stunned as HIFK goalie Wiksman turned in a clutch 29 save shutout. Going into game 6 the Finn hockey world was treated to one of the great clutch games of all time as Ted Kupchik recorded 2 goals and 3 assists for a 5 point night to prevent elimination. This game saw not only the figuring out of Wiksman, but an injury to Toni Söderholm where he was went knee against knee with Jokerit Captain Ossi Väänänen. This left him unable to finish the series.  Then, in what was the most watched hockey game in Finland history, Jokerit emerged victorious with a 3-2 game 7 overtime win.  The winning goal came off the stick of Teemu Pulkkinen who came in on the left face off circle, faked right and put the puck over the stick side of Wiksman for the goal and  the series clincher.  Kupchik remarked afterwards that “pound for pound, it was probably the greatest series I have ever played in.” Jokerit won the Kanada-Malja Trophy (SM-LIIGA Championship) and Kupchik was awarded the Jari Kurri Trophy (Playoff MVP).

PERSONAL LIFE

Kupchik currently resides in the Phoenix, AZ area in the off season.  He has interests in real estate investment, and sports drinks.  He married his wife Kristi in 2012 right before his return to the ice.  Kupchik’s EA Sports immediate family include Miles, born in 1999. He is in development now to play hockey, and is doing so on an AAU level.  Also Alexander and Alexandria, who are twins born in 2001, another daughter Kristin also born in 2001, and Howard II who was born in 2004.  Kupchik has cousins from the Ukraine, Mikhail KupchikPetr Kupchik, and Henshel Kupchik who are hockey players as well. Furthermore Kupchik is also the cousin of retired EA Sports hockey player Timothy Rosen.  Outside of hockey, Kupchik  has a cousin who played fullback for he  EA Sports New York Giants, The Legend of Johnny V.  Johnny’s son Johnny Jr. has plans to go to Alabama as an EA Sports Quarterback for the NCAA game.

PLUS/MINUS AWARD

EA Sports games did not track the plus/minus statistic (that I can remember) when statistics started being kept in NHL 95, so although we do not have an exact statistic it is estimated that Kupchik has a plus/minus rating of over 1000 in his career.  Coming back to the NHL, Totallyserioussports.com decided to track the best plus/minus player and give our own trophy. (EA Sports Unofficial)

Naming it after Kupchik, The Ted Kupchik Trophy is now handed out for the best plus/minus player every year. Kupchik won the award for 12-13 and 13-14.  He is the first known player to win an award named after himself.

This Wiki is based on a fictional player. These are events that happened within the context of a video game and within the realm of a fictional world.  Nothing written here should be taken as a actual real world event, except within the said video game.

 
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